Nicoletta Revis – Republic of You

Written by Prue; Edited by Mick; Pics taken by Melinda and edited by Prue

“It’s about defining who you are… and whoever you are is ok!  I try to run this moral thread through the whole business… encouraging people to accept who they are.”– Nicoletta Revis

We first had contact with Nicoletta via email, however, one sunny day at the Top Shop we noticed a young woman sitting on the lawn, coffee in one hand, smart phone in the other and little black pooch loyally by her side. The latter caught Prue’s eye, whilst the phone chatter caught Melinda’s ear who quickly assessed the young woman was actually working – she was doing the social media marketing for a business. Naturally interested in all things social media, we patted the pooch and got chatting to its owner, only to discover she was in fact the Nicoletta who had previously emailed us. What a surprise.

Nicoletta and her very cute pooch Darby (Doo)

Two weeks later we reconvened to discover much about this young, social media savvy, vibrant, infectiously enthusiastic, business woman. Continue reading

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Conversation with Mariana Barrios – Wear Knots

“I was always creative at school but wasn’t encouraged because of the belief art doesn’t take you anywhere.” – Mariana Barrios

Nervously approaching our first interview we were so blessed to have the grace and calm of local artisan Mariana Barrios of Wear Knots, agree to catch up with us for a coffee at the Balcony Bar and Restaurant. After a few glitches with the use of Voicememo on the iPhone and wondering whether to start the chat before the waitress took our orders we finally settled in to hear how Mariana came to Byron and started creating her beautiful hand knotted jewellery.


Wear Knots jewellery by Mariana Barrios

Like many of us here in Byron, Mariana is a refugee, however she has come a bit further than most. Mariana came to Australia in 1987 from Chile with her then husband and two sons. Settling first in Perth, she eventually separated and met her current partner and love of her life, Paul Spooner (our illustrious leader of the Byron Community Centre). They have been together now 18 years and are about to get married in early 2012. Yay!

What brought you to Byron Bay?
I first heard of Nimbin on a TV program. I asked Paul where it was and he got out a map to show me, it was near Byron where our friend Marlena lived. I wanted to see more of Australia and Fremantle (Perth) was feeling too isolated so we packed up the house, kids and Combie and headed east. We called in on Byron to visit Marlena and left my two boys with her while we looked for a house in Brisbane. Living in Brisbane provided work but there wasn’t much to do, so we used to come to Byron on weekends. My eldest son fell in love with a local girl which brought us here even more often… and of course, they loved the surf, girls, lurrvve, alcohol and rock ‘n roll.

I was sick of only doing cleaning jobs and my English was getting better so I decided to look into becoming a Barista. While Paul was looking for courses for me he stumbled upon a job for Byron Youth Services, which he got. Funny how this brought us to Byron and I still haven’t done the barista course.

Continue reading